Tithing in Genesis

tithing and God's word

Abraham and Jacob Tithed

In the book of Genesis tithing is introduced through the examples of
Abraham and Jacob.


    Gen   14:18  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out
                 bread and wine; he was the priest of God
                 Most High.
            :19  And he blessed him and said:
                  "Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
                   Possessor of heaven and earth;
            :20    And blessed be God Most High, Who has
                   delivered your enemies into your hand."
                 And he [Abram] gave him a tithe of all.

Abraham had just defeated Chedorlaomer(Kedorlaomer) king of Elam and
three kings, with only his 318 trained servants and his allies Aner,
Eshcol and Mamre.

The purpose of the attack had been to rescue Lot who had been taken
captive by Chedorlaomer. God had given Abraham the victory so it was
appropriate to express gratitude.

From the spoils of victory Abraham gave a tenth of all to Melchizedek.
It is not clear exactly how the tithe was calculated since,
    a) people were amongst the spoils,
    b) portions belonged to Abraham's allies and
    c) people and possessions were returned to the king of Sodom.

The actual source of teaching which may have
led to this act of tithing is not clearly
stated. However the 'bread and wine'
mentioned in verse 18 have spiritual
The principle of tithing may have had its origin from teaching conveyed
at this time by Melchizedek to Abraham.

Even if the tithing principle was taught at this time it may have merely
been a refreshing of a principle which had existed since the creation of

In any case it is evident from the following verse that Abraham obeyed
teachings received from God.

    Gen   26:5   "... Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge,
                  my commandments, my statutes and My laws."


    Gen   28:22  "... and of all that You give me I will surely
                  give a tenth to You."

This promise was made at Bethel following a vision Jacob had experienced
while sleeping. Jacob's promise to tithe was conditional upon the message
of the vision being personally applicable; ie keeping him in his travels,
giving him bread to eat and clothes to wear until he returned to his
fathers house.

Later in Genesis just prior to Jacob
returning to his home land we read of

 Gen 30:43 Thus the man became exceedingly
           prosperous and had large flocks,
           female and male servants, and
           camels and donkeys.

Thus God had prospered Jacob and gave him
more than he could otherwise have earned.

The teaching embodied in these early tithing examples was subsequently
incorporated into the law of Moses.


in the New
Teaching on
New Testament
Why the
Spiritual Tithe
is Necessary

Old Covenant
- Tithing
Old Covenant
- No 2nd or
3rd Tithe
Old Covenant
- A Tithe
of Animals?


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